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Spectacular Champagne Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


INGREDIENTS

Champagne Cupcakes:
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups Caster Superfine Sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Sale di Cervia Sea Salt
2 cups milk
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon Champagne Extract
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract
8 egg whites

Italian Buttercream:
2 cups Caster Superfine Sugar
8 large egg whites
4 cups (2 pounds) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Champagne Extract

DIRECTIONS

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners.

In a very large bowl, stir together the flour, Caster Sugar, baking powder, baking soda and Cervia Sea Salt. Add the milk, shortening, Champagne and Clear Vanilla Extracts. Beat on low to medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until just combined. Scraping the bowl constantly, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes.

Fill the cupcake liners half full with batter and bake until the center springs back when touched, about 12 minutes. Cool before frosting.

For the buttercream: Put the egg whites in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Put 1 1/2 cups Caster Sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Bring to a soft ball stage (240 degrees F), 4 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup Caster Sugar, continuing to whip until medium peaks form.

When the sugar water reaches 240 degrees F, raise the speed to high and gradually add in the sugar water to the egg whites in a thin stream to avoid cooking the egg whites. Leave the mixer on high for 2 minutes, and then reduce the speed to medium until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 5 to 8 minutes.

Once cooled, add the butter in increments, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the Champagne Extract and whip.

Pipe the buttercream on top of the cooled cupcakes.



Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

Products suggested for this recipe: